Art Gallery Showcases Local Talent

July 31, 2008
The Conference Place at Whitby Mental Health Centre launched its art program with a two day “Natural Perspectives” Art Show. The Art Show celebrated local talent and featured the original artwork of staff, patients, families and friends of WMHC.

Inspired by the beautiful rustic setting of the Centre, The Conference Place Art Gallery’s (CPAG) inaugural show brings together a diverse selection of two-dimensional pieces with a theme of nature. Each artist applied their own unique artistic vision and technical abilities to the theme. Attendees of the Natural Perspectives Art Show were able to view art, connect with artists and purchase artwork.

“Art serves as a therapeutic medium for patients,” says Janice Dusek, Chief Nursing Officer, Vice-President, Professional Practice and Strategic Development. “Patients use art as an opportunity to express themselves and share their feelings as it provides them with a meaningful way to be creative. We were excited to have such a positive response from patients, staff and the community for our first art show.”

The show also featured an art competition for best in show, most natural moment and original interpretation of the theme. Joanne Wilson (Polubiec), Ivan Dorodnov and Eddy Reid, winners of each category respectively demonstrated their talent through their beautiful interpretation of nature.

Eddy Reid, an artist and outpatient at WMHC felt the “Natural Perspectives” Art Show was a wonderful opportunity for him to showcase his talent. “Art shows the beauty, colour and creation of life through one’s darkness. I like painting because it gives me hope during my recovery and helps me make a living.”

CPAG’s Art Advisory Committee collaborated with Station Gallery and The Robert McLaughlin Gallery to increase awareness about the event and to enhance the experience for artists and the local artistic community.

This fall, CPAG will expand its program and host their first Exhibition. The Exhibition will feature artwork from staff, patients, students and local artists. “The community plays an integral role in the recovery of patients with mental illness. We are looking forward to providing an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate art and support our local talent,” says Dusek.

For more information about the Conference Place Art Gallery, please contact Sandy Ravary at 905-430-4055 ext. 4880. About The Conference Place
The Conference Place is a for-profit organization located in the Whitby Mental Health Centre. It is a unique and intimate venue with an appeal for clients needing the latest presentation support. This 10,000 square foot state-of-the-art conference centre can support groups of 5 – 150 people, including catering and parking. The Conference Place offers a lecture theatre, classrooms, and boardrooms for conferences, meetings, training sessions, and special events. With its serene lakefront view and grand landscaping, it is guaranteed to promote a relaxed feeling and memorable experience.

New to The Conference Place is an Art Program based on the exhibition and sale of two-dimensional artwork. All artwork is provided by local artists, in-house talent and students and is made available to the community. The tranquil surroundings of The Conference Place have provided the nature theme for the curatorial design of the Centre, bringing the outdoors in.

About WMHC
Whitby Mental Health Centre is a public hospital that serves a population of 2.8 million residents and employs 1,100 people. WMHC provides a range of specialized mental health programs for inpatients and outpatients throughout a primary service area that includes Durham Region, York Region, Scarborough, Toronto, Haliburton, Northumberland, Peterborough Counties and the City of Kawartha Lakes. WMHC also operates treatment residences in Stouffville and Oshawa; provides specialized community outreach services; and supports residents in privately operated Homes for Special Care. In addition, the Centre is actively involved in mental health research and education activities.

WMHC and its Board of Directors are committed to working in consultation with the community at large towards reaching its vision and implementing its strategic directions. For more information on strategic planning initiatives and operational data, or to provide feedback on program services, policies or the facility, please contact WMHC Information at 905-430-4055 ext. 6631 or

For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact:
Communications and Public Affairs
Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences
905-430-4055 ext. 4001